About

I am an American expat, living in Denmark, navigating the local, whole food scene in Copenhagen.

Last November, I cut out grains and [all forms of] sugar from my diet, and started putting more of an emphasis on eating locally grown seasonal produce, grass-fed meat and pork, free-range poultry, and wild fish.  If any of you have heard of Weston A. Price, I guess you could say that’s been a sort of guiding light for me, and most of my meals are based on the idea of The Four Pillars of World Cuisine à la Dr. Catherine Shanahan.  I also steal recipes from Paleo occasionally, and on a busy day, a little Atkins (ie, you will catch me from time to time eating processed cheese when in a pinch with no other food options).  Anyway, I’ve experienced enough mind-blowing health benefits since the lifestyle change that I decided it would be worth it to write it all down.

This blog is about sharing knowledge (and recipes, and stories, and resources), because I firmly believe that when someone shares something of value with you, and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.

As a sort of disclaimer, because I’m seeing lots of bloggers do it lately, and probably for good reason, please share anything you find interesting about my blog far and wide (I love information sharing!), however, please don’t forget to link back to me to show your source, and of course, please credit me if you use any of my photos.  Thanks!

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Mette says:

    Hi,
    I can tell from the title of your blog that you’ve been a vegetarian before you changed your diet. What was your reason for doing this? I am a vegetarian myself, but I am having problems with those extra pounds.. I would like to follow a low-carb diet, but as a vegetarian, this is almost impossible. So my question is: Did you only change your diet in order to lose weight? I am not asking this to be critical, but only of interest.

    • antesa says:

      Hi Mette!

      Thanks so much for your message. You are definitely right, that I used to be a vegetarian. There were a lot of reasons for me changing my diet to become an omnivore again. I write about many of those in my first post on this blog, which can be found here: https://vegetarianrehab.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/and-so-it-begins/ Originally, I did not revert back to eating meat in order to lose weight, however.

      In addition to all the health problems I was developing, I also realized once I had decided to move to Denmark that maintaining a healthy version of a vegetarian diet in Denmark would be pretty difficult, because produce is mostly only available seasonally here, and there isn’t a lot of diversity in “alternative” products like there is in the US. I knew that working with the contents of a typical Danish “kantine” and my carnivorous boyfriend would cause more stress than it was worth, and so I slowly integrated meat back into my life starting in the winter of 2010-11. When I did that, I few health problems I had been having mysteriously disappeared (the eczema in my ears, and chronic back pain, for example). My diet change to eating traditional whole foods with an emphasis on a healthy dose of fats and no grains or sugars only happened recently (last November), and this shift was primarily after acquiring some new knowledge via a doctor friend and some really good, information and scientific data-rich books.

      The information I learned made me realized that my vegetarian lifestyle wasn’t doing me any favors, and might be to blame for uncontrollable sugar cravings and low energy all the time (even as I transitioned into eating meat, my carb intake never decreased to compensate: I justified that I needed it in order to be “regular” and also in order to boost my energy level when I crashed). It might also be the reason why, despite doing situps on a regular basis, I always had a belly I couldn’t make go away, that just kept growing the longer I was in Denmark. Turns out meat wasn’t the problem. Cake was.

      Ultimately, weightloss was definitely part of the goal, yes, but my driving force is that I want nothing more than to feel, and be, healthy. I equate healthiness not by your physical weight so much as by how you feel, how your skin looks, how clear your mind is, etc. Those are the pieces of the puzzle that tell you how your body is really doing. Though I have enjoyed weightloss, too (and my tummy flattened out!). 😉

  2. Mette says:

    Thank you very much! It’s not an option for me to quit vegetarianism, but what you write about has certainly been a step on the way for a healthier life, body and mind. I’ve just read your first post, and it’s very interesting. I think I’ll try to pick up the books you are talking about somewhere. 🙂

    Again, thank you!

  3. Mette says:

    Btw – since you don’t eat sugar, have you heard about the natural sweetener called Stevia?

    • antesa says:

      I have! I just got some, actually! I haven’t used it yet, but I intend to when I make my grain-free birthday cake next Friday (will post recipe). 🙂 Any tips on the Stevia to Sugar conversion? I hear it’s really potent.

      I would say if quitting vegetarianism isn’t an option for you, do what you can to incorporate the good solid fats into your diet regularly. Lots of raw stinky cheese, organic free range eggs, and butter from grassfed cows. The eggs are particularly important as the yolks are a great source of Vitamins A and D, which are only available for absorption in or with animal fats. You should also look into supplementing with fermented cod liver oil. I order mine (I take the FCLO/High Vitamin Butter Oil Capsule Blend) from here: http://www.greenpasture.org

      Also, if grains are a big part of your diet, I would recommend sprouting and fermenting them as often as possible. Check out the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon for a ton of really helpful techniques on that front. I use a LOT of her recipes and love them, though I haven’t embarked on the sprouting or fermentation path yet, I do hope to try some homemade sourdough bread in the future, and see how my body feels about it. Amazon.com ships to Denmark, and it can be ordered from there.

      Also, depending on how flexible you are with your vegetarianism, try chicken and beef stocks. They make great sauce accompaniments to most vegetarian food (especially casseroles) and are a huge source of gelatin and glucosamine, which you won’t get anywhere else in your diet. 🙂

  4. C says:

    Hello from a fellow American expat starting to switch to a healthier diet in DK. We are not cutting out all grains, but will do much more soaking/sprouting/fermenting before eating them. I have my first batch of sourdough starter bubbling away as we speak! Can you tell me which brands of butter here are grass fed? I’m not in CPH so hoping I can find one that is in a chain grocery store. I am dubious of the ‘organic’ ones bc I assume they are just feeding organic grain? Thanks!

    • antesa says:

      Hi!

      If you have a Føtex near you, I’d try to hunt down Kerry Gold. It’s Irish, and from what I have read is 100% grassfed. A good percentage of butter from Naturmælk is also grassfed, but not all farms in their collective are 100% grassfed, so you’d be taking a risk there (those that do use grains use organic grains, correct).

      Seek solace in the fact that regulations on agriculture here in Denmark are quite high (and not nearly as political as in the US), so I think you are pretty safe, even with just organic – I think most organically raised cows in Denmark are eating hay as the primary source of their diet, so then the concern is how much vitamin A and D you’re getting from the cow being outside vs. eating hay that was once outside. For the sake of educating yourself and to put your mind at ease, and what I did when I got here, is you might consider taking a picture of all the brands of butter available to you at the grocery store and then go to their websites and translate information about what their animals eat. In some cases where information is not available, you most likely can contact the company directly and ask. They are very honest and transparent here, so you can relax and just enjoy eating, without worrying about hidden agendas (for now). I personally find this to be a HUGE relief and major benefit to living in Denmark.

      • C says:

        Thank you for the advice! We don’t have a Føtex nearby, unfortunately. Only Netto, Kvickly and Fakta. But I’m happy to know the regulations are much more strict so pretty much anything we end up with is going to have higher nutritional value/less crap. I will keep a look out for both brands, though.

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